Day 5: Let’s Write!
The most important part of your blog is going to be what you write. Your content! So let's talk about that today.
Remember when blogging meant writing about your day? Yeah those were the days of Livejournal. Now blogging means writing for an audience. No one but your mom and maybe your Aunt Linda care about your day. People have problems and they want solutions. Or they just want to be entertained!
So unless you're a celebrity, don't write about how your weekend went. (If you are a celebrity then HELLO! Please introduce me to all your celebrity friends!)
What Kind of Content Should You Write?
There are two kinds of blog posts that work well: Informational and Entertainment.
Informational blog posts are your how-to guides or tips and recommendations. Sometimes they're just general information on a topic. Informational posts also include recipes!
A good informational blog post offers a solution to a problem. So if you can figure out what problems your target audience has, you can offer a solution in the form of a blog post.
Example problem: "What do I buy my baby for her first birthday?" Solution: Gift Ideas for Baby's First Birthday.
Entertainment blog posts are the stories that make people feel feelings. They're funny, cute, relatable, sad, inspiring, and even controversial.
They're a lot harder to get right than informational posts. They have to be interesting enough that people are curious enough to click on the headline, and they have to evoke an emotion from the reader whether it's a good or bad emotion.
Example: 10 Things I Miss About Being Pregnant. Emotions (depending on the person): Relatable, nostalgia, happiness, baby fever (lol)
Step 1: Brainstorm Blog Post Ideas
Now that you know what kind of blog posts work, let's get some ideas. Who is your target audience and what are their problems? Do they need quick recipes for dinner? Do they need to know how to style a scarf? Are they looking for the newest tech gadgets? Do they want to learn how to use Microsoft Excel? Solve some problems!
If you're going to entertain your readers, what topics would they resonate with? How can you make them laugh? Are you going to inspire them? Or do you want to start a discussion on something in pop culture?
Step 2: Write Your Blog Posts
Good blog post structure includes an introduction, sub headings, and a conclusion or call to action (usually abbreviated to CTA).
If you remember from high school, your introduction should briefly introduce your topic and provide a hypothesis. That's fancy talk for tell people about what you're going to tell them about. It needs to grab their attention and not give away the farm in the process. You don't want them to read the introduction and think "Well, I've got all the information I need!" or "Well, that's boring. I don't care!" Sometimes it helps to write your introduction last. So if you're stuck, come back to it.
Your subheadings are the meat of your blog post. I try to break out my post into points like in an outline. The points can be steps in a how-to guide, products in a product recommendation list, or just sections in your story. You'll want to use the heading options in WordPress for these so Google knows what your post is about. I use heading 4 for mine because it's a little smaller. But you can use heading 2 or 3 and it does the same thing. They're just a little bigger.
Your conclusion should wrap up your post. If your post needs a CTA, this is a good place to put it. Say you're writing a review of a product you use and you also happen to be an affiliate. At the end ask your reader to try the product or buy it and include a link. Sometimes your CTA is just to leave a comment so ask a question to start a discussion.
Step 3: Get Some Photos
Photos really help break up your paragraphs and provide more content for your reader. You can use your own (which I suggest if you can. Especially if you're doing recipes or how-tos) or you can get stock photos from Unsplash or Creative Market.
Create title or pin images for your post. I use a Pinterest size image with the title overlaid for my title image. That way people can pin it right from the post. PicMonkey and Canva are great for making those.
Step 4: Proofread and Publish!
Yes, you need to proofread. The easiest thing to do is install Grammarly's browser extension. It'll check your spelling and grammar! Plus it's free! You can upgrade if you want to get extra features.
Preview your post and make sure it looks okay. Then publish it! Whoooo!!!!
Step 5: Share it!
Now is the time to share your post to your Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and on your Instagram. Let everyone know you have a new post!
Don't panic if you're thinking "how can I do all of this in one day?" You don't actually have to do this all in 7 days. Take your time if you need to! And you'll get better and better with each blog post you write!